Finalist in the Charlotte Mew Chapbook Contest
Poem “Conspire” nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2017.
In sometimes lyrical, often plain-spoken, always searing language, Amy Lauren’s God With Us fuses Gospel stories of birth, persecution, death, and resurrection with contemporary images of injustice, hopelessness, and hope. By imagining scenes of Jesus’s life in terms of today’s struggles, Lauren not only gives Biblical tales a startlingly immediate vitality; she also imports the Gospel’s vision of God as a living, breathing, suffering, loving presence into our world, our wounds, our lives.
—Joy Ladin, author of Fireworks in the Graveyard
Unnamed in this collection, the savior is every man, every woman, sons and daughters, lovers, prisoners, the “fallen” and the unclean. Lauren’s poems inscribe a being who walks among us, and becomes one of us—a visceral being of skin, bone, and hair, of sweat and blood. In stark and powerful language, God With Us reminds us of our humanity and our betrayals of humanity, of our divinity and our betrayals of divinity. Yet the poet reminds us too that compassion for the poor in spirit, whether self or other, is the driving force that makes suffering bearable.
—Janice Gould, author of The Force of Gratitude
In these poems, Amy Lauren sews together fragments of our lives with God’s skin, and makes them seamless. We’re not supposed to believe in God like this, or think that being with God is as bloody as romance. She begs to differ. These poems remind us what is real is real. I love them. I will be returning to them again and again.
—Rev. Shelly Fayette, rector of Christ Church in Seattle
In God With Us, Amy Lauren weaves a poignant and necessary thread between the experiences of religion and discovering one’s place in the world. Moving through the delicate balance of theology and lesbianism, Lauren reminds readers that neither exists in a vacuum. Moving through the theological implications of trauma, God With Us draws the reader on a dusty and dirty path towards an arc of cleansing, healing redemption. It is okay to stay, Lauren reminds us; we are needed here. In an age of increasing darkness, God With Us shines as a beacon of hope for all those wondering how they will find their way.
—Kelsey Walck, cofounder of Rising Phoenix Review
Lauren’s debut chapbook follows a loose narrative of life as a marginalized identity in the Deep South. Sometimes the most surprising places, such as a local restaurant or a hundred-year-old church, offer healing and hope. Lauren hopes these stories honestly portray both the sins and miracles of Mississippi, and evoke compassion among those who do not share similar experiences.
From Epilogue: “If my feminist theologian friends are correct and God is a woman, you will have so many mothers.”